The comments to “So where’d you get that racehorse?” keep piling in (there are even some on Facebook) and wow, was I fascinated to see how many readers got their OTTBs from adoption/rescue agencies! Comment after comment kept listing different organizations! I think this covers everyone who got a mention:
- Akindale Horse Rescue
- CANTER New England
- CANTER Michigan
- CANTER MidAtlantic
- CANTER Ohio
- LOPE Texas
- MidAtlantic Horse Rescue
- New Life Thoroughbred Rescue
- New Vocations
- Pure Thoughts
- The Second Race
- Second Start
- TB Friends
- West Point Thoroughbreds
A few people got their horses from track workers (it tends to be female exercise riders who place horses, which is a little disappointing since the overwhelming majority of exercise riders are male. Men, if you are placing horses, please step up, defend your sex, and tell me about it!) and good trainers. One or two went the classified ad route.
Adoption agencies lead the pack by a wide margin, though, and the reason is simple. I’ll let Sarah from Miles on Miles make the point:
What I love love love about them is that they showcase those horses like nobody’s business. I could watch 2 videos of him being ridden and see multiple conformation photos before taking the 4 hour drive to see him. At any given time I can go on their website and want to take home at least 75% of the horses that are available. When I went to see him, I was able to see him being ridden, and then able to do ground work and bathe him and graze him, turn him out, on my own. They really “stand in the gap”, which is so important for people like me. I’m a competent rider, but I really didn’t want to take a horse that ONLY knew the track. I wanted someone else to take care of all the “firsts” that a transitioning horse goes through. Also, by the time the horses are put up on the website, they really know the horses, the good and the bad, and they were very upfront.
There you go. If you’re not a trainer looking for an OTTB to train and sell on, you can’t beat the adoption agency route. The information is all there in front of you.
New Vocations sells me a horse twice a day, but I think they outdid themselves with Such Fortune. I want her soooooo badly. That’s beside the point.
In contrast to a New Vocations listing, here’s what you get from a classified ad. Here’s a small part of today’s page from Ocala4sale.com, which is where I got Final Call.
Here we have a free horse who is a little strong and not for beginners, but gives riding lessons to toddlers. We have a free horse who is too much for someone’s wife and step-dad, so he has to go. We have a free filly who… well, we don’t know anything about her, do we. And there is an OTTB of indeterminate height and at an unspecified stage of retraining who is $1800.
Unless you really love cold-calling random strangers who can’t spell their own horse’s names correctly, I think New Vocations wins this face-off.
And then there’s Craigslist. But do we really even want to get into a Craigslist discussion? The first thing I pulled up on Ocala Craigslist was this:
I had to stop there.
So there you have it. Three ways to buy a Thoroughbred. The adoption agency (don’t forget they have trainer-listings, so you can buy direct instead of adopt), the contact at the racetrack (Men! If you’re out there, comment!), and the classified/Craigslist ad.
Who wins? And which do we need more of?